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Game 34 Preview: Chatham at Harwich

by Andrew Crane, 07-30-2021

Game 34 Preview: Chatham at Harwich

Chatham won three-straight games for the first time this season heading into the final off-day, but now plays the only Cape Cod Baseball League team it hasn’t beaten this year: Harwich. The Mariners ended the Anglers’ season in the 2019 East Division Series, and have a chance to sink them to the brink of elimination with a win at Whitehouse Field on Friday.

During its three-game winning streak, Chatham scored double-digit runs in back-to-back games and recorded a season-high 13 runs and 16 hits against Orleans on Wednesday. Harwich, meanwhile, lost two consecutive games before scoring three runs across the final three innings against Y-D on Wednesday to secure a win — and a much needed one with the Anglers streaking — heading into Thursday’s break.

Probable Pitchers

After operating out of the bullpen for his past two Cape League appearances, Dylan Carmouche returns to the mound for his third start. He stumbled to a loss in the last game he threw, allowing three runs — the only three Brewster scored that evening — on six hits and placing multiple runners on base in each of the three innings he threw. Opponents are batting .320 against the Mississippi State left-hander this season, tied for the highest on the Anglers with Northeastern’s Sebastian Keane.

Spencer Giesting hasn’t allowed a run in his past two starts, tossing 8.2 innings while allowing six hits and striking out 12 batters. He’s a left-handed pitcher, which Chatham has struggled against this season, but Giesting does have one of the higher WHIPs on Harwich at 1.56 even with opponents hitting just .213 against him. He appeared in 27 games, with four starts, for Charlotte during his freshman season and finished with a 3-3 record and a 5.47 ERA, but struck out 73 batters in 52.2 innings.

Chatham Players to Watch

Josh Rivera extended his hitting streak to four games with a pair of hits against Orleans. He batted in the No. 3 slot for the fourth time in five nights, settling in the middle of the order as Chatham manager Tom Holliday moved Lyle Miller-Green down to the bottom-third. Rivera’s average, as low as .139 after 10 games, has risen to .240 and he’s slugging .310, a number that’s topped by only four other active Chatham players.

Danny Serretti, who’s been the second middle-infielder and the shortstop when Holliday rests Rivera, has also provided a boost to the top of the Chatham order, recording hits in 11 of his last 13 games while hitting his first Cape League home run on Tuesday. He’s also struck out in all but two of those games, but Serretti has raised his average to .308 — which leads all Chatham players who’ve appeared in more than a handful of games. His on-base percentage of .384 is also 40 points higher than any other active Angler.

Harwich Players to Watch

Jordan Beck’s 32 strikeouts are the second most on the Mariners this season behind top hitter Brock Wilken, but he’s recorded three hits across their last two games — including a key single in the eighth where he scored as an insurance run in a 4-1 over Falmouth two days ago. He’s 0-for-5 against the Anglers this season, striking out four times while drawing a pair of walks, but the Tennessee outfielder, who made 66 starts this past collegiate season, led the team with 64 RBI and tied for the top spot with 15 home runs. He’s managed just two home runs in 23 CCBL games this summer, though,

Carter Putz’s .242 average ranks fourth-lowest on Harwich, but he’s recorded one hit in all three of the games he’s played against the Anglers this year and drove in the game-winning runs during their most recent meeting. He started all 47 games for Notre Dame during his junior season in South Bend, Indiana, hit .305 and tied for first on the team with 57 hits. At the end of the Fighting Irish’s season, Putz closed on a five-game hitting streak, including one hit in each of their three games against Mississippi State in the super regional.

Stat to Know — 15

Four home runs in the win against Orleans gave Chatham 30 on the season, just two behind CCBL leader Bourne, but a league-high 15 players, either active currently or at one point throughout the year, have helped the Anglers reach that total. In the previous two games, four players — Caeden Trenkle, Danny Serretti, Jake DeLeo and Nolan McLean — launched their first Cape League blasts, joining a group that once depended on long balls from Miller-Green and Caden Grice but has balanced out as the season progressed.

Last Time They Played

For seven innings, the pitching of Tanner Witt and Alex McFarlane shut down the Harwich offense, silencing their bats after a first inning where they took an early lead. But after two consecutive one-out singles against McFarlane, the pair of runners advanced into scoring position and advanced on Carter Putz’s one-out single. Josh Rivera hit his first Cape League home run — a deep ball to center field — to give Chatham the lead in the previous inning, but the Anglers didn’t manage another baserunner for the final two innings and lost, 3-2, on July 18.